Practicing Democracy—in the Media, International, and Male: Werner Höfer’s “Internationaler Frühschoppen” (1950s)
After 1945, U.S. occupation forces endeavored to teach Germans about democratic discourse, etc., with the help of moderated discussions, among other things. The process continued after the founding of the Federal Republic. The year 1952 saw the debut of the television program “Internationaler Frühschoppen” [“The International Morning Pint”], which was moderated by Werner Höfer. For more than thirty years, six male journalists from five countries practiced democratic debate on the radio and television on Sunday mornings, complete with glasses of wine and a female waitress. The all-male Western panel pointed to a renewed German leadership. The foreign journalists had to speak good German to participate, but their small mistakes served to emphasize the competence of the Germans at the table.
Source: Gentlemen in conversation. The “International Morning Pint with Six Journalists from Five Countries” in the 1950s. Seated from left to right: H. A. von Heintze, Hassan Suliak, Jan Wintraecken, Werner Höfer, Alain Clement and Richard C. Hottelet. Image courtesy of WDR. Reprinted in Nina Verheyen, Diskussionslust. Eine Kulturgeschichte des „besseren Arguments“ in Westdeutschland. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010, fig. 5, p. 165.